Walsh Bay aerial. Credit: James Horan; Destination NSW
Walsh Bay Arts and Culture
Arts and culture in Walsh Bay
A significant arts and culture hub just around the corner from The Rocks, Walsh Bay is home to the Sydney Theatre Company, The Sydney Dance Company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, The Australian Theatre for Young People and a range of other cultural and creative organisations.
Theatre, dance, galleries and outdoor sculpture
The beating heart of Sydney's arts and culture scene can be found in the quiet precinct of Walsh Bay, a harbourside pocket of redeveloped piers and wharves and some of the best views in Sydney.
There's a rich performing arts scene in the area, spearheaded by the Sydney Theatre Company (STC), Australia's premier theatre company. Established in 1978 and under the current artistic directorship of actress Cate Blanchett and her screenwriter husband Andrew Upton, the STC's 12-play annual program attracts audiences of over 300,000. Talent to tread the boards here have included many of Australia's most famous actors, including Mel Gibson, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, Geoffrey Rush, Toni Collette and Blanchett herself.
Other big players on the precinct's arts and culture scene include The Australian Theatre for Young People Rose Byrne and Rebel Wilson both trained here and The Sydney Dance Company, one of Australia's leaders in contemporary dance. The 14-member Bangarra Dance Theatre, Australia's national premier Indigenous performing arts company, also draws crowds keen to experience unique theatrical experiences connecting contemporary life to traditional culture.
If watching the professionals at work inspires you to bust a move, why not join a tap, zumba, hip-hop or ballet dance class at the Sydney Dance Company? The roster includes over 70 classes a week with all experience levels catered to. Classes are run on a drop-in basis and the airy caf, with its gorgeous harbour views, is great for a relaxing post-class coffee.
Or, you might prefer to stretch your legs on the Walsh Bay Heritage Walk, a free, self-guided walk that reveals the area's past history along with new developments (download the map and detailed walk guide before you start). You can't miss the open-air sculptures dotted throughout the precinct prepare to do a double take upon spotting Jimmie Durham's Still Life With Stone and Car on Hickson Road. The Walsh Bay Sculpture Walk also includes works from Brett Whiteley's Black Totem II in Windmill Street.
Walsh Bay will also host the annual cutting-edge arts event, Biennale of Sydney, which runs from June to September and Sydney Writers' Week in May.